What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (2024)

Since 2015, this noteworthy 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 has been fortifying cars, trucks, and SUVs with sometimes record-breaking performance.

By Nick Kurczewski

Jul 21, 2023

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (2)Dodge

Article QuickTakes:

When the Hellcat engine debuted in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT coupe, you knew this supercharged 6.2-liter V8 was something special. After all, Dodge not so humbly touted the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat as "the most powerful muscle car ever."

That's right, Mustang and Camaro owners, a mean new dog with a demonic feline-inspired name was in town. Hellcat was originally an internal code name for this mega engine, in homage to the World War II Grumman F6F fighter plane.

With a total of 707 horsepower, performance of the 2015 SRT Challenger Hellcat was spellbinding. The car's zero-to-60-mph time was clocked by Car and Driver at 3.6 seconds and Dodge pegged the Hellcat's top speed at 199 mph.

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (3)Dodge

Hellcat Engine's Stupendous Stats

A muscle-car engine is an impressive piece of machinery, though some of Dodge's statistics for this motor border on being ghoulish. To start, the Hellcat engine has never been kind to fuel budgets. Dodge claimed the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat burns through 1.5 gallons of gasoline per minute when running at full throttle. Prius owners, please look away.

But Dodge went one step beyond muscle-car norms with its estimate that a Hellcat at full throttle needs only one minute to suck all the air out of a 1040-cubic-foot room. So if you somehow find yourself locked in the house with a Hellcat-powered vehicle, you might want to crack a window.

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (4)Dodge

Hoard of Hellcats

Over time, Hellcat power plants have found their way into the engine bays of the Dodge Charger sedan, along with SUVs including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, as well as the full-size Ram 1500 truck. If you crave speed at the other side of 200, but need room for a few friends, it's worth noting the five-seat Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of scorching its way to 203 mph.

Since it was first introduced in 2015, Dodge has kept updating and improving its supercharged Hemi V8 and, in doing so, power has marched upward. From its original output of 707 hp, the 2023 Hellcat family now produces anywhere from 702 hp in the Ram TRX, to 1,025 hp (on E85 fuel) in the Challenger SRT Demon 170.

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (5)Dodge

Legendary Last Call

But time marches on, even for the most powerful muscle car and its wickedly fast sedan, pickup, and SUV siblings. Dodge has confirmed 2023 will be the final year for the Hellcat engine and has already exhibited a battery-powered electric concept called the Charger Daytona SRT. A production version of this electric muscle car is expected in 2024.

For its gas-powered swan song, the Hellcat is offered in the Dodge Challenger and Charger, the Ram TRX and, after a two-year hiatus, the Dodge Durango SUV. For bargain hunters and anyone looking to cash in on a future collectible, the least expensive of the 2023 lineup is the Challenger SRT Hellcat, which starts at approximately $71,000.

If you're in the market for a Hellcat, but prefer something more affordable, a 2015 original could be yours for around $60,000 — don't expect those prices to drop anytime soon.

Special Last Call plaques will be mounted under the hoods of every Hellcat-equipped 2023 Challenger and Charger.

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (6)Dodge

TAGSdodge challengerdodge chargerdodge durangojeep grand cherokeeram 1500

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Nick Kurczewski

Nick Kurczewski is a freelance automotive journalist based in the New York metro area. With approximately 20 years of experience, he has covered all aspects of the car world, from the pit lane at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to car shows around the world, and a Zamboni lesson in Lower Manhattan. He’s also adept at providing helpful car advice and steering people towards the ideal car, truck, or SUV for their driving needs.

What Is Dodge's Hellcat Engine and Is It Going Away? | Capital One Auto Navigator (2024)


Why is Dodge doing away with the Hellcat? ›

Why Dodge Is Discontinuing the Hellcat. Government regulations are becoming increasingly strict, making it difficult for automakers to produce cars like the Hellcat. Dodge is investing heavily in electrification to meet these regulations, which means the Hellcat will have to make way for a battery-powered Challenger.

What is the Dodge Hellcat engine? ›

What does Hellcat mean on a car? ›

Dodge decided on the name Hellcat after learning an American aircraft in World War II was named the American Grumman F6F Hellcat. They wanted a design that represents the fierce power and ability of their vehicle. The logo itself is a large cat's head showing teeth, appearing hostile.

How long will a Hellcat engine last? ›

Any motor today should do 200k easily with proper maintenance, including hellcats. If you run it hard, then maintain it hard (i.e. more frequently, more intensively).

What's replacing the Hellcat? ›

Of note, Ram is not the only automaker expected to replace the Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 with the Hurricane 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six, as the Dodge Challenger and Charger are also expected to be updated in this fashion, being offered alongside the upcoming 2024 Charger Daytona electric vehicle that is on ...

What is replacing the Hellcat engine? ›

What's Replacing the Hellcat Engine? The reported replacement for the Hellcat engine from an all-electric-powered performance perspective is what's being called the Banshee powertrain, an 800-volt, all-wheel-drive EV system reserved for the most powerful future models.

Is a Hellcat engine a v12? ›

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is where tires go to die. It's one of the last coupes with American-style V-8 thunder under its hood. The Challenger SRT Hellcat lineup's most reserved model spews 717 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine.

Why is the Hellcat engine so good? ›

The 2.4-liter twin-screw IHI supercharger displaced more air than the entire engines of many four-cylinder cars, stuffing 11.6 psi of boost into a 6.2-liter Hemi V-8. In 2014, we tested a Challenger Hellcat to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on the way to an 11.7-second quarter mile. The numbers still impress.

Why are Hellcats so expensive? ›

The reasons had everything to do with price and capability; Hellcat engines offered more power for a lot less than you'd expect. At that time, exotics from brands like Ferrari and McLaren cost much more than vehicles with Hellcat engines but failed to match this powertrain's prodigious output.

Do cops drive Hellcats? ›

Usually, when law enforcement agencies acquire these kinds of performance vehicles they use them almost exclusively for public outreach events. However, Texas Department of Public Safety says this is part of the fleet of patrol vehicles, so this Hellcat will be out on the front lines. Do Hemis Belong In PT Cruisers?

Why are Hellcats so special? ›

The Hellcat — which retails for between $90,000 and $150,000 depending on options — is sought after primarily because of its vast power reserves. It produces as much as 717 horsepower in the Hellcat and 797 in the Hellcat Redeye, thanks to a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine.

Which is faster the Hellcat or demon? ›

The Challenger Demon is slightly faster and more powerful, with a top speed of 211 mph, compared to 202 for the Hellcat. Both the Hellcat and Demon have an iconic design and deliver a thrilling experience behind the wheel.

How many miles is a full tank in a Hellcat? ›

240.5/407.0 mi. 18.5 gal.

How fast can a Hellcat go? ›

We've talked all about the performance of the new Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat, but here are some performance figures to help you get a true understanding of its power: Top speed: 203 mph.

How fast will a Dodge Hellcat run? ›

The official specs say it can hit 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 203 mph.

Will Hellcats be banned? ›

Dodge has already discontinued the limited-edition Durango SRT Hellcat SUV due to increasingly strict federal emissions rules and Kuniskis cited the regulations as a reason the engine would be retired. "You can still meet emissions with these cars. You're going to pay a lot of compliance fines," Kuniskis said.

Why is Dodge discontinuing the Challenger? ›

Production officially ended in December 2023 due to the parent company's transition to cleaner and more efficient electric vehicles (EVs).

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